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General Motors celebrates production of 50 millionth automobile with a parade through Flint, Michigan.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Sound Masters
Sponsor: General Motors Corp.
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Car culture: Ceremonies
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: The Future Is Unlimited!
A GM film saluting the 50 millionth GM car---a
'55 Chevy. The city of Flint hosted the celebration in November, 1954. It's hard for folks these days to realize that Flint, now
Exhibit A for America's industrial decline and whose declining fortunes were chronicled by Michael Moore in "Roger and Me", was America's most prosperous town when this film was made.
Subject: Never Again
I suppose most of us are far too cynical or fancy ourselves as too hip to ever see the value in scenes like these. It's so much easier to make fun of the over-caffeinated announcer or the stumbling corporate chieftain's speech.
As a retired GM employee, id love to see days like that again when GM was so important not just in the US but here in Canada too, employees were like family then and thats the way it should be now too!!
Subject: A Time the U.S.A. was confident
In 1954-55, our country was proud and confident of its future. It is so well seen in this film.
Many people felt they could achieve part or all of their dreams.
Subject: Achievement USA
Very nice film, good memories. Looking at some of the other comments though, it is easy to see the poor attitude of people, when it comes to supporting businesses, that probably have supported their families for decades...
Subject: It was a great accomplishment, for those times.
The building of the 50 millionth General Motros car, was for it's time an amazing accomplishment. It represented the cummulative effort of hundreds of thousands of people in the span of some 50 odd years. In the automotive world of 1954, (The film was made in 1954, showing the new 1955 model year cars.) it was a highpoint that those participating knew would not come by again during their working lives. The 100 millionth Chevy was built in 1979, a Monza.
I think it's all too easy to loose sight of the fact that these films were produced during a time when industrial might was expressed by output. It was, after all, sheer output by both the United States and the USSR which had won the recently fought European war. It hadn't even been 10 years since the ending of those hostilities, and many parts of the world were still in literal ruins in 1954.
This film comes from a time when large corporations had not yet achieved that pall of negativity which seems to hang about them today. The people who ran them, the CEOs and upper management didn't make the outrageous salaries we seem to see everywhere in our “modern” times. Much of the negative environmental impact associated with industry was not yet fully appreciated or understood.
You have to try to watch this film in that light, because after all, this film was never intended to be seen by us, the viewer of 2010. It was intended for the viewer of 1954/55. You cannot judge it by modern social, economic, environmental or political standards. Neither can you expect those 1955 Cheverolets that remain in collector's hands to give the same performance, fuel economy or safety ratings as do our more modern automobiles.
I think it's a wondereful film, very out of step with a “today” it could never anticipate.
rodger and me
Steve Nordby -
Subject: "The way of life that IS the USA"
As all good Americans know, achievement is measured in quantity not quality. This is progress unmatched. 50 million cars! Whoopee! Let's have a parade and call employees "family" so they will feel appreciated before we lay them off when the competition competes on quality.
Interesting that this is NOT a Jam Handy production even though the Handy organization was the designated Chevy film maker.
this is a classic, also seen in the beginning and clips thruoughout michael Moore's "ROGER and ME" and I know he was never that special, i also noticed he took other clips from archive.org's movies in Bowling for Columbine, just wanted to pint that out :)
this is a classic, also seen in the beginning and clips throughout Michael Moore's "ROGER and ME" and I know also that he's taken other clips from other archive.org movies in Bowling for Columbine, just wanted to point that out :)
Christine Hennig -
Subject: Achievement USA
Woohoo!! General Motors just made its 50 MILLIONTH CAR!! I mean, isn't that EXCITING??? GM sure thinks so. It makes a golden Chevrolet, trucks in a lot of bigwigs on a golden train for a really big shew, and hosts a parade for the citizens of Flint, Michigan, and everybody else as well, since they made a film of it. The speech by the old corporate guy is boring, but the parade is loads of fun, featuring tacky floats by the dozens, some hideously-mutated human sparkplugs, and a brief sighting of the thoroughly evil Sludgy (Bucky Beaver Warning!!). My husband asked, "I wonder how the Trojan company celebrated their 50 millionth condom?", but that is a thoroughly tasteless comment, and the reader can be assured that I would never stoop to the likes of that in my reviews.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ****. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
Subject: Great patriotic film
Achievement USA focuses on the production of General Motors' 50 millionth vehicle. To celebrate this, GM put on a whopper of a parade in 1955. This film has great coverage of the parade, with floats in styles they just don't make anymore, great production line scenes, and much back slapping by GM higherups. Once again, being 1955, it amazed me how many people turn out to see such an event.
Maybe it's to see Sludgy, the oil drip mascot.